If you noticed the chic and dignified crowd struggling to get in the doors at the Ralph Lauren flagship on Madison Ave. last Wednesday night, you might have thought Kate Middleton was making an appearance. Actually, Mr. Lauren was hosting a party for my good friend and mentor, Andrea Q. Robinson in honor of her first book, Toss the Gloss. There were so many beauty and publishing industry big wigs and CEO’s there that they could barely move their arms to take a sip of champagne!
Andrea was her usual beautiful self, and I was honored to do her hair and makeup for the big occasion. She is a true, effortless beauty, and she’s translated everything she’s learned from her decades in the industry into an amazing, bold, brilliant but funny and readable tell-all on how to look your best over 50. The book is very honest yet incredibly informative; a Devil Wears Prada meets the Madame Curie of beauty. I was bowled over by how funny she could be: “There are more anti-aging products out there than George Clooney has ex-girlfriends.” But also how brutally honest: “Forget night creams, toners, eye creams, neck creams, collagen, firming creams. Accept the reality that there are no magic bullets.” I love her dedication to the bottom line: she gives explanations for every ingredient and lists every product she recommends.
I was honored that Andrea consulted and quoted me in her section about hair. We go way back---Andrea was the first editor at Vogue to use my information and hair images, and it was from there that I had the opportunity to work with her in the studio with such legendary photographers as Richard Avedon, Irving Penn and Steven Meisel. I’ve watched her take her beauty prowess in the studio to the boardrooms of Revlon, L’Oreal, Tom Ford and Estee Lauder, and we’ve always had such a common ground in our approach to beauty. She once said “Gad’s ability to understand hair and makeup for the modern woman of all ages is unparalleled.” Well, the same goes for Andrea. So here’s to you and your wonderful new book, Mrs. Robinson! I’m sure it will be as much as a success as every other venture you embark on!